Ed Driscoll

Blade Runner Becomes a Step Closer to Reality

No, I don’t mean that replicant versions of Sean Young and Daryl Hannah are now on the shelves at your local Sharper Image, though the Japanese are certainly working hard to make that a reality. But Allahpundit explores “the freaky deaky ‘shoot first, focus later’ camera” as he puts it, and writes:

There’s so much visual data in the average photo that’s indecipherable, whether due to parts being out of focus, shot in poor light, and so forth. A bad pic is like a badly damaged hard drive, with only some of the “files” readable. Can’t technology figure out a way to recover the unrecoverable data?

* * * * * *

Surveillance. Isn’t that the most obvious application for this? How many times have you watched a true-crime show where the perp walks by a gas-station camera 25 feet away and the best they can do to get a description of him is magnify his face until it’s a pixelated blotch? Universal focus would be a very tasty treat for security agencies. There’s certainly a market for it. Chop chop, Lytro!

Paging Mr. Deckard, Mr. Rick Deckard, your photo scanner is ready….

(A much cleaner version of this scene is available here, but for some reason, it’s not playable as an embedded clip.)